Healthcare in Duress

Staff Duress Blog

When healthcare workers are in danger, so is the entirety of the system

Not only are we currently in a pandemic, but we are also facing a violence epidemic that is plaguing healthcare.

Healthcare has been a hot topic over the last two years. As the pandemic has progressed, we have witnessed a nursing shortage caused by burnout, violence, and underappreciation. According to The Joint Commission, exposure to workplace violence can impair effective patient care and lead to psychological distress, job dissatisfaction, absenteeism, high turnover, and higher costs.

We praise nurses as heroes, so why is their safety being put on the backburner? A safe workplace should be the norm, not the exception. Caregivers and healthcare staff are invaluable to patients, healthcare facilities, and our communities at large. Support at work not only increases satisfaction, but it allows healthcare professionals to focus more on patient care, providing both a fulfilling career and positive patient experiences.

Due to increasing violence, The Joint Commission recently introduced new and revised elements of performance (EPs) in their Workplace Violence Standards. An example of an existing standard with revised EPs that call attention to workplace violence is Standard EC.04.01.01. “The hospital collects information to monitor conditions in the environment.” EP1 now states “the hospital establishes a process(es) for continually monitoring, internally reporting, and investigating the following: 1) injuries to patients or others within the hospital’s facilities 2) safety and security incidents involving patients, staff, or others within its facilities, including those related to workplace violence,” among several others.

An example of an existing standard with a new EP includes Standard EC.02.01.01: “The hospital manages safety and security risks.”

  • EP 17 (new): “The hospital conducts an annual worksite analysis related to its workplace violence prevention program. The hospital takes actions to mitigate or resolve the workplace violence safety and security risks based upon findings from the analysis.”
    • “Note: A worksite analysis includes a proactive analysis of the worksite, an investigation of the hospital’s workplace violence incidents, and an analysis of how the program’s policies and procedures, training, education, and environmental design reflect best practices and conform to applicable laws and regulations.”

With violent incidents often unreported, how can healthcare facilities gather accurate and continuous data for analysis? How can compliance with managing safety and security risks be more efficiently documented? And what safety guarantees do staff members have at work?

Fortunately, there are technologies healthcare leaders can implement to quickly protect and support healthcare staff. Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) offer cost-effective mobile duress solutions that prevent violent threats from escalating, with just a press of a button. Clinical-Grade RTLS systems provide accurate real-time location information and easy-to-access duress buttons located directly on staff badges, allowing healthcare professionals to signal for help from wherever they are.

Furthermore, incorporating RTLS solutions and leveraging its automated reporting tools help facilities to remain compliant with The Joint Commission’s Workplace Violence Prevention Standards. Administrators can download reports to view how often the duress button was pushed, current response times, trends of increased violence in certain locations or over specific time periods, and more. Healthcare facilities can also evaluate deeper integration of RTLS solutions into access control and other building management systems to ensure enterprise coverage. With robust analytics available, security officers can turn this historical data into actionable intelligence and proactively focus their resources when and where they are needed most.

CenTrak’s staff duress solution provides real-time map views, immediate alert notifications, and continuous location updates during a duress event, enabling accelerated response times. Knowing assistance is always within arm’s reach and only a button press away can lower the stress and anxiety many clinical staff face when met with upset or angry patients and visitors. Not only does investing in an RTLS staff safety solution help the facility better monitor and meet The Joint Commission Standards, but also can significantly reduce and proactively address rising safety concerns through the use of technology.

See how one customer is using CenTrak’s RTLS-enabled Duress Solution in their facility: “Behind the Mask” campaign as featured on Wood TV8

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CenTrak provides facilities with data-driven insights, creates a safe and efficient environment for staff, and enhances the healthcare experience for patients, residents, and their families.